Old newspapers can be a treasure trove of small-town gossip, local and personal news, as well as some obscure sensational and lurid details. Use the links below to locate papers in the areas that your ancestors lived, and search through society news, local happenings, births, deaths, and even the ‘for sale’ ads to find wonderful details of their lives that you might not find anywhere else. (As always, these are in no particular order).
Just a few gems I’ve found in old newspapers include how one teen missed ‘the big game’ because he thought he had a headache but really had the measles; the story of a great uncle who drank strychnine on the city street after being spurned by a girl; and from 1816, the reason one ancestor divorced his wife, listing the dates that she had been unfaithful with the town physician. What’s the most interesting detail you’ve uncovered in a newspaper?
- Wikipedia List of Online Newspaper Archives
- Ibiblio – US News Archives on the Web
- Library of Congress Chronicling America /
- Online Historical Newspapers Website
- The Ancestor Hunt free online newspaper links
- FamilySearch Wiki Digital Historical Newspapers
- ICON Newspaper Digitization Projects
- Old Fulton NY Post Cards (and newspapers!)
- Elephind – the world’s historical newspaper archives
- Current US newspapers’ website locator